Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Inequality Anyone???

If you are a working stiff, the chart should be of great concern to you.

I have been off the blog trail for a little while with some personal things that needed attention some good, some bad!!!!

Some thinks to think about as the summer goes on Tommy and Louie are camera shy if they don't know ya.

June is usually a good month for teachers.  Not so much this year.  That ax you hear outside is not the long overdue landscape project, but being a teacher under Tom Corporate.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Making the Grade

I haven't posted much lately.  I have been very busy with many things. With the weather situation in Pennsylvania the last few weeks, I have been very busy as an baseball/softball umpire.  Being an official in any sport is part vocation, part volunteer, part hobby and maybe part occupation.

A few years ago at the urging of a friend, I took the PIAA high school softball test to be an umpire.  After a cancer diagnosis in 2002 and baseball in some form being part of my life for most of my years at that point.  I wanted to figure out a way to get back in the game ( I grew up less than 200 yards from a baseball field). The way back came in the form of being an umpire. 

Like with any sports related, the next level doesn't come easy.  You may have been a good player, but that does not guarantee success as a manager, coach or official.  You have to work at it!!!!  You have to practice your trade.  Often times you question why you chose to officiate. 

After umpiring hundreds of games over the past few years from high school softball down to Little League baseball, I was rewarded with my first playoff game week.  I worked the bases in Bloomsburg's upset win over Mifflinburg.  On Sunday, I got the call that I would be part of a 4-man crew working a District IV semifinal between defending state runner-up Montgomery and state semifinalist, Northeast Bradford. 

It was only fitting that each man in that crew had a part in me being there.  I was chosen to work 1st Base. The home plate umpire and crew chief Duff Ripka has been a great influence and believed in me getting me started in summer ball and working elite travel tournaments.   Art Rovito was the 2nd Base umpire.  I worked my first high school game with Art.  Dave Fetterman was at 3rd base and gave me some great advice working together when starting out.

The best reward we received after working a 2-0 Northeast Bradford win was nothing.  The final out was made and we walked off the field while the fans cheered both teams.  Our exit was not noticed and that's the best reward of all, it's all for the players.

In a vocation where you only are as good as your next call or next game, one quote sticks out in my mind:

So many people want to make it to the top, but are not willing to start on the bottom.